Floor Drain: 101

In this blog post, you’ll read:A floor drain is an integral plumbing feature often found in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. It is typically installed into the floor of a building, predominantly in areas that are likely to experience excess water flow or spillage.

Table of Contents

What is a floor drain?

A floor drain is an integral plumbing feature often found in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. It is typically installed on the floor of a building, predominantly in areas that are likely to experience excess water flow or spillage. The primary purpose of a floor drain is to provide an outlet for excess or wastewater, enabling it to efficiently leave the premises without causing flooding or water damage.

Floor drains come in various shapes, sizes, and designs. These can include round, square, or linear drains. The type used often depends on the specific requirements of the location and the amount of water it needs to handle. The gutters can be customized to handle a small amount of water in residential applications or a larger volume in commercial or industrial locations.

They are usually made of stainless steel, PVC, or brass and have three main components: a grate, a basin, and a trap. The grate is the visible part of the drain and allows water to flow into the drain while preventing larger debris from entering. The basin collects the water flowing through the grate, and the trap (a U-shaped pipe) keeps unpleasant sewer gases from coming back up through the drain.

In a nutshell, a floor drain serves as a critical component for water management, helping to keep areas dry and safe while maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of a building.

Does Your Project Need a Customized Floor Drain?

Every day, we take the efficient draining of water for granted. But have you ever stopped to consider the hero behind this underrated convenience? What makes a good floor drain, and how does its size and type matter?

Floor drains are essential in managing wastewater in various environments, from residential homes to commercial spaces. The type and size of floor drains make a significant difference in their efficiency, adaptability, and suitability for different use cases.

If you’re someone who values quality, customization, and effective solutions for your clients, you’re in the right place. We’re about to dive deep into the world of floor drains.

Types of floor drains

Floor drains come in various designs, each serving specific functions and aesthetics. Here are some of the most common types of floor drains:

Traditional Round or Square Floor Drains: These are the most common floor drains in many residential and commercial settings. They have a simple design, typically featuring a round or square shape with a grating on top to prevent large debris from entering the drain.

Linear Floor Drains: Linear drains are elongated and slim, offering a modern, sleek look. They are commonly used in contemporary homes and commercial spaces, such as in showers where they run the length of the wall or across the shower floor.

Bell Trap Drains: These types of drains have a bell-shaped trap and are often used in basements and utility areas. The bell shape helps prevent sewer gases from rising up while allowing water to flow down.

Adjustable Floor Drains: These floor drains have a design that allows the top section or strainer to be adjusted to match the finished floor’s height. This is especially useful in areas where flooring might be replaced or modified.

Funnel Drains: These drains are typically used in garages or commercial kitchens. They have a funnel-shaped top section that helps direct water more effectively into the drain.

Area Drains collect excess rain and groundwater in outdoor areas like patios, yards, or car parks. They are similar to round or square floor drains but are designed to handle larger volumes of water.

Garage Drains: These are heavy-duty drains installed in garages or workshops. They are usually a type of trench or channel drain that spans the width of the garage entrance or is placed strategically to catch and direct water out of the space.

Each floor drain type serves a unique purpose and has different installation requirements. The choice of floor drain often depends on the space’s specific needs, aesthetic preferences, and the volume of water it needs to handle.

Floor drains

Raw materials of floor drains

Floor drains are made from a variety of materials, each chosen for their durability, longevity, and ability to withstand different environmental conditions. Here are some common materials used in the manufacturing of floor drains:

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is renowned for its strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion. It provides a sleek, modern aesthetic and is often chosen for high-traffic areas or places with heavy water flow.

Cast Iron: Used often in commercial and industrial settings, it is notable for its durability and strength. It is heavier than other materials but provides excellent load-bearing capabilities and withstands high temperatures.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): PVC is a type of plastic often used in residential floor drains. While lightweight and corrosion-resistant, it may not be as durable as metal options, particularly in high-traffic areas.

Brass: Brass is highly resistant to corrosion and gives a golden hue that can add an elegant touch to any setting. Brass drains are often found in high-end homes and commercial establishments.

Copper: Copper is another metal used in floor drains. It is corrosion-resistant and has natural antibacterial properties. Over time, copper develops a patina that can add a unique aesthetic to the drain.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene): ABS is a type of thermoplastic that’s lightweight, easy to install, and resistant to many corrosive substances. It’s often used in residential settings and in places where lower temperatures and less aggressive use are anticipated.

Bronze: This material is known for its strength and durability. It’s highly resistant to corrosion and provides an elegant aesthetic. Bronze floor drains are often found in luxury establishments and traditional home designs.

Nickel Bronze: Nickel bronze is a special alloy that combines bronze’s durability with nickel’s aesthetic appeal. It’s a popular choice for its corrosion resistance and the sleek, silvery finish that it lends to floor drains.

The choice of material for floor drains depends on a number of factors, including the specific needs of the application, the environment in which the drain will be used, aesthetic preferences, and budget considerations.

spare parts of floor drain
spare parts of floor drain

Size specs of floor drains

The drain’s intended use typically determines floor drain sizes, the expected volume of water flow, and local building codes. While sizes can vary greatly, here are some common size specifications for floor drains:

Diameter or Width: For traditional round or square floor drains, diameters can range from about 2 inches for smaller residential drains up to 12 inches or more for commercial or industrial applications. Linear drains, on the other hand, can range from 2 to 4 inches in width.

Length: This primarily applies to linear drains. The length can vary greatly depending on the specific application but typically ranges from 24 inches to 60 inches or more. Custom lengths can also be made to fit specific installation requirements.

Depth: The depth of the drain needs to accommodate the trap and provide an adequate slope for effective water drainage. This is typically around 4-6 inches, but it can be deeper for larger commercial or industrial drains.

Outlet Diameter: The outlet is the pipe that leads from the drain to the sewage system. The diameter of this outlet can vary depending on the expected water flow. Common sizes include 2 inches, 3 inches, and 4 inches.

Grate Size: The size of the grate is typically similar to the overall diameter or width of the drain, but it can vary depending on the design. It must be large enough to allow water to flow freely into the drain while preventing large debris from entering.

Remember, these sizes are typical but vary greatly based on specific needs and local regulations. Always consult with qualified professionals or local building codes to determine the appropriate size for your floor drain.

dimensions of shower floor drain

Spare parts of floor drains;

Floor drains are composed of various parts, each contributing to the overall function and operation of the drain system. Here’s a breakdown of the main components:

Grate or Strainer: The visible part of the drain sits on top. It allows water to flow into the drain, preventing large debris from entering. Grates can come in various shapes, sizes, and designs to fit the room’s aesthetic.

Body: The body of the drain is the section that sits beneath the grate and collects the water. It is typically made of durable materials like stainless steel, cast iron, or PVC and features a design that facilitates the flow of water toward the outlet.

Outlet: The outlet is the pipe section that connects the drain body to the sewage or waste system. The outlet diameter can vary depending on the expected water flow.

Trap: The trap is a curved or U-shaped section of the pipe located beneath the drain body. It always holds a small amount of water to prevent sewer gases from rising through the drain.

Trap Seal or Primer: In some drain systems, a trap seal or primer ensures that the trap always contains water, even in periods of infrequent use. This further prevents the escape of sewer gases.

Cleanout Plug: Many floor drains feature a cleanout plug, allowing easy access to the drain pipe for cleaning and maintenance.

Adjustable Top: Some floor drains have a flexible top section or strainer that can be moved to match the finished floor’s height.

Funnel or Debris Catcher: Certain drain designs may include a funnel to direct water more effectively or a debris catcher to prevent larger debris from entering the drainage system.

These parts can typically be replaced individually if they become damaged or worn, extending the overall lifespan of your floor drain system. However, it’s important to ensure that any replacement parts are compatible with your specific drain model and installed correctly to ensure proper function.

Applications of floor drains

Floor drains are vital in managing water flow and preventing flooding or water damage. They are common in any building where water may accumulate on the floor. Here are a few examples of where floor drains are often used:

Residential Buildings: In homes, floor drains are typically found in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, basements, and garages. They manage water flow from showers, washing machines, or any spills that may occur.

Commercial Buildings: In office buildings, floor drains can be found in similar locations to residential facilities, such as bathrooms and kitchens. They might also be present in utility rooms or basements to manage potential water overflow.

Industrial Facilities: Factories, warehouses, and industrial complexes often use floor drains in production areas, mainly where water or other liquids are used in the manufacturing process. They also help manage any spillage of liquids.

Public and Institutional Facilities: Schools, hospitals, prisons, and other institutional buildings often feature floor drains in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and maintenance areas.

Food Service Locations: Restaurants, food processing facilities, and other food service locations use floor drains in areas where food is prepared or cleaned up. These locations often have strict health and safety requirements related to drainage.

Swimming Pools and Spas: Floor drains are crucial in these areas for managing overflow and maintaining the water level in the pool or spa.

Car Wash Facilities: Floor drains help manage the water used in washing vehicles.

Outdoor Applications: Drains can be found in patios, driveways, and other outdoor locations to manage rainwater and prevent flooding.

Remember, the design and capacity of the floor drain need to be suited to its application. For example, a drain in a commercial kitchen needs to handle food debris without clogging, while a drain in a chemical plant might need to resist corrosion from harsh substances. Always consult with a professional when selecting and installing floor drains.

Foundation Floor Drains

How to install and repair floor drains?

Installation and repair of floor drains can be a complex task, and hiring a professional plumber is recommended, especially if you’re not familiar with plumbing work. However, if you’re comfortable with DIY tasks and your local regulations permit it, here’s a general overview:

Installing a Floor Drain

Plan the Drain Position: The drain should be positioned at the lowest point of the floor to collect and drain water effectively. It must also be close to the waste line for easier connection.

Cut the Floor: Mark the drain’s position and use a concrete saw or jackhammer to cut through the concrete floor. Ensure the hole is big enough to accommodate the drain and some extra space for adjustments.

Connect to the Waste Line: Depending on the type of pipe used, you’ll need to use appropriate fittings to connect the drain to the waste line. PVC pipes, for example, can be connected using PVC cement.

Install the Drain and Grate: Place the drain into the hole and connect it to the outlet pipe. Ensure that the top of the drain aligns with the finished floor level. Then, install the grate on top of the drain.

Finish the Floor: Fill the hole around the drain with concrete and slope the floor slightly towards the drain to encourage water flow.

Repairing a Floor Drain

Repairs will depend on the issue at hand. Common problems include blockages, broken grates, or problems with the trap.

Unclogging: The drain may be clogged if water isn’t draining correctly. A plumber’s snake can be used to clear the blockage.

Replacing the Grate: If the grate is broken, it can typically be unscrewed and replaced with a new one.

Trap Problems: If sewer gases are coming from the drain, there may be a problem with the trap. The trap may need to be cleaned, or if it’s cracked, it may need to be replaced.

Remember, this is a simplified overview and doesn’t cover all possible scenarios. Always adhere to local building codes and safety guidelines when doing plumbing work.

Concerns while purchasing floor drains

Several essential factors must be considered when purchasing floor drains to ensure you choose the correct drain. Here are some considerations:

Material: Floor drains are made from various materials, such as stainless steel, cast iron, PVC, bronze, or nickel bronze. The material should be chosen based on the drain’s location and the type of substances that will pass through it. For example, stainless steel is famous for its durability and corrosion resistance.

Size and Design: The size and design of the drain should be suitable for the expected water flow and the size of the room. Consider the diameter, depth, and size of the outlet pipe. Also, choose between traditional round/square drains or linear drains based on your preference and space requirements.

Application: Consider the specific use of the drain. A bathroom or kitchen floor drain might require different features than a drain for an industrial setting.

Installation Requirements: Consider the installation process and whether the drain is compatible with your existing plumbing system. Also, consider whether you have the skills to install it yourself or need to hire a professional.

Compliance with Standards: Ensure the product complies with local building codes and industry standards. This is particularly important in commercial and industrial applications.

Quality and Durability: Look for a product that is well-made and durable. A poorly constructed floor drain might need frequent replacements and could lead to water damage or other issues.

Maintenance: Some floor drains are easier to clean and maintain than others. Check whether the product has easy access for cleaning and the availability of spare parts.

Price: Finally, consider your budget. While it’s often worth paying more for a high-quality product, ensure the price is reasonable and within your budget.

sizes of drain floor

How to choose the proper manufacturer for a floor drain?

Choosing the proper manufacturer for a floor drain is crucial as it significantly affects the product’s quality, cost, and lifespan. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a floor drain manufacturer:

Experience and Reputation: Look for a manufacturer with a strong track record in the industry. An experienced manufacturer often delivers better quality products. Check customer reviews and request client references to gauge the company’s reputation.

Quality Assurance: The manufacturer should have strict quality control procedures to ensure consistent product quality. Ask about their quality assurance process, certifications, and whether they offer warranties.

Material Selection: The manufacturer should use high-quality materials that ensure the durability and longevity of the product. Depending on your needs, check if they offer stainless steel, cast iron, PVC, bronze, or nickel bronze floor drains.

Customization Options: Check whether the manufacturer offers customization options if you have specific needs or design preferences. This could include custom sizes, designs, or functionality.

Technical Support: Good manufacturers provide excellent technical support. They should be able to guide and assist from the selection process to installation and maintenance.

Delivery and Lead Time: Consider the manufacturer’s lead times and ability to deliver products on schedule. Delays can have a significant impact on construction or renovation projects.

Pricing: While quality should not be compromised for cost, pricing is still important. Look for manufacturers who offer competitive prices without compromising the product’s quality.

Sustainability Practices: With growing awareness about environmental conservation, many consumers prefer manufacturers who adopt sustainable practices. This could include using eco-friendly materials or energy-efficient production processes.

After-Sales Service: After-sales service is often a clear indication of how much a company values its customers. Good after-sales service often includes prompt response to queries, availability of spare parts, and effective resolution of any issues that may arise after purchase.

Remember, take your time in researching and choosing the proper manufacturer. The right decision will save you time, money, and potential problems in the future.

Hofen history

Floor drain cover Vs. Floor drain grating

When it comes to floor drains, you will often encounter two primary types of coverings: floor drain covers and floor drain grating. Although they both serve the same primary function—covering the drain opening and preventing larger debris from going down the drain—they differ in design and sometimes in functionality.

Floor Drain Cover

A floor drain cover is usually a solid piece of metal or plastic that fits over the opening of the drain. It may have small perforations or slots to allow water and small particles to pass through, but most of the surface is solid. Some advantages and considerations of using floor drain covers include:

Appearance: Floor drain covers often have a sleeker, more minimalistic look than grating, which some homeowners or designers may prefer.

Ease of Cleaning: Because of their solid surface, they may be easier to clean than grating.

Reduced Water Flow: However, they may not handle high volumes of water as efficiently as a grate because of the smaller openings.

Floor Drain Grating

On the other hand, floor drain grating consists of a series of bars or a mesh-like structure covering the drain opening. The openings between the bars are more significant than the perforations in a drain cover, which makes grating more suitable for areas where large volumes of water need to be drained quickly. Some advantages and considerations of using floor drain grating include:

Increased Water Flow: Because of the larger openings, grating can handle larger volumes of water more efficiently than drain covers.

Less Likely to Clog: Grating is less likely to become blocked by larger debris due to its open design.

Cleaning: Grating may be more challenging to clean because of its open, often intricate design.

Choosing a floor drain cover or grating largely depends on your specific needs, the volume of water you expect the drain to handle, and your personal aesthetic preference.

Old rusted metal gutter for rain water on the stone paved sidewalk
Old rusted metal gutter for rainwater on the stone-paved sidewalk


floor drains are essential in any building, ensuring adequate water drainage and preventing potential water damage. They come in various types, materials, sizes, and designs, each suitable for specific applications.

Understanding the different types of floor drains—traditional round gutters, square drains, or linear drains—is crucial to choosing the right design for your space. Materials, too, can greatly affect the durability and performance of the drains, with options ranging from stainless steel, cast iron, and PVC to bronze and nickel bronze.

The size of your drain should be appropriate for the space and the expected water flow while also considering your room’s overall design and aesthetic. Meanwhile, understanding the components of a floor drain—like the drain body, strainer, trap, and cleanout plug—can help in its maintenance and longevity.

Floor drains are used in various applications, from residential bathrooms and kitchens to commercial spaces and industrial sites. Proper installation and repair are crucial to ensure the drain functions effectively and lasts long.

When purchasing floor drains, considerations such as the material, size, design, application, installation requirements, compliance with standards, quality, durability, maintenance, and price are all key to selecting the right product.

Choosing the proper manufacturer can also significantly impact the quality and lifespan of your floor drain. Factors such as the manufacturer’s experience, reputation, quality assurance processes, material selection, customization options, technical support, delivery times, pricing, sustainability practices, and after-sales service are all essential to consider.

Lastly, deciding between a floor drain cover or grating should be based on your specific needs, the volume of water you expect the drain to handle, and your personal aesthetic preference.

In the end, proper research and consultation with professionals can guide you toward making the right decision for your floor drain needs, ensuring your investment’s effectiveness, longevity, and value.

Ask For A Water Control Solution Now

We do not only provide basin waste, but we can provide solutions for water control.

Get In Touch Now!

*We respect your confidentiality and all information is protected.

× How can I help you?